“How do I know if I’m praying well?” by Fr. John Bartunek

In his book A Guide to Christian Meditation, Fr. John Bartunek (click here for my summary of that book) answers an important question that many of us wonder about…

  • “How do I know if I’m praying well?”

Fr. Bartunek says that since your relationship with Christ is a deep friendship built on faith and love, the success of your prayer life goes far beyond your current feelings and emotional states.

  • “The fruit of a healthy prayer life takes time to grow and mature. Ultimately, it shows itself by growth in virtue, as you become more like Christ” (54).

Some indicators my meditation went POORLY:

  • Gave into distractions.
  • Let myself fall asleep.
  • Did not prepare well to enter into prayer: Skipped over the Concentrate step or did it sloppily.
  • Spent the whole time reading, thinking, daydreaming, or focusing on feelings instead of conversing heart-to-heart with Christ.
  • Did not commit to anything at the end of my meditation.
  • Shortened the time I had set for meditation for no good reason.

Some indicators my meditation went WELL:

  • Fulfilled the time commitment I had set.
  • Faithfully followed the four-step method despite tiredness, distractions, dryness, or any other difficulty.
  • Stayed with the points of consideration that struck me for as long as I found good material there to reflect and converse.
  • Tried my best to speak with Christ heart-to-heart.
  • Tried my best to listen to God. Finished with a strong commit.
  • Since meditation is a rich source of spiritual nutrients that cause the Christian virtues to grow in our lives, let us commit ourselves to meditate daily… and try our best to do it well!
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